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"Rambo" is better than the box office - CinemaDave

Feb. 3rd, 2008 04:50 pm "Rambo" is better than the box office

"America opposes genocide in Sudan.
We support freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe
to Belarus and Burma."
President George Bush
2008 State of the Union Address



Like President Bush, the motion picture "Rambo" will
be treated better in history than by popular culture.
Unlike "Rocky Balboa," the box office for Sylvester
Stallone's new film has been tepid. Given that
"Rambo" has been produced by the fledgling Weinstein
Brothers organization, the box office beating for
"Rambo" is similar to the beating of last year's
"Grindhouse." In contrast to the fluff of
"Grindhouse," "Rambo" actually has depth and reveals
an inhuman condition. Thus far, **Rambo** has made
10 million dollars more than the Oscar nominated
"There Will Be Blood."

The film opens with documentary footage from the Free
Burma Rangers organization. The vision is cruel;
witness the naked bodies strewn across the field,
covered with flies. The perpetrators of Burma's
Genocide do not discriminate; men, women and children
are butchered with equal intensity. The variety of
torture is sickening; decapitation, burns and the
people who received mercy were merely shot in the
head.

Director Sylvester Stallone makes a convincing
transition from reality to fantasy. The next sequence
features the Burmese Army creating mine fields in the
swamps and then unleashing their prisoners as sport.
As the prisoners flee, the army makes sport of their
victims like Count Zaroff from Richard Connell's
classic short story from the early 20th century, "The
Most Dangerous Game."

Enter John Rambo (Stallone), a snake wrangler and
blacksmith living in Thailand. Rambo is approached by
missionaries who want to cross the border and provide
supplies to the repressed people of Burma, most
notably the Christian resistance group, the Karens.

Reluctant at first, Rambo escorts the missionaries
through the genocide zone. From this circle of death,
Rambo is reborn. Eventually the missionaries are
captured and Rambo marches into hell for a Heavenly
cause.

At 91 minutes, "Rambo" feels like an epic
experience. As the film's writer and director,
Stallone created an economic narrative and makes the
most of the jungle setting. The violence is explicit
and one suspects toned down for major release. Unlike
the previous **Rambo** movie, this film presents
responsible violence. John Rambo does not single
handily defeat the Burmese Army in this motion
picture.

Italian director Giuseppe ("Cinema Paradiso")
Tornatore is planning to make his first
English-language movie about the Burmese democracy
icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi,
titled "The Lady." By using entertainment fantasy,
Sylvester Stallone's "Rambo" "Rambo" has lit a
match against the repression of the Burmese
Government. Unlike the heavy handed politics of his
Hollywood contemporaries, Stallone has managed to tell
an entertaining story.

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